Exemptions change: Review duties each year

January 5, 2011
As employees’ duties change, make sure you regularly update their job descriptions to reflect realities on the ground. Then use those job descriptions to see if they are still properly classified under the FLSA. Don’t rely on an analysis that’s even a couple of years old. As this case shows, even an analysis provided by the DOL isn’t safe.
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Must we pay for restroom breaks?

January 4, 2011
Some breaks are required by law … and some are required by biology. Are employers required to pay when employees answer nature’s call?
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If employee gives late FMLA notice, when must you cut slack?

January 4, 2011
The latest FMLA regulations give employers new powers to demand notification from employees. But while you can now hold employees to your “usual and customary” notice procedures when they’re notifying you of unexpected FMLA leave, you must allow some flexibility for emergency circumstances. The question is, how much?
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Docking pay for snow-day absences: When is it legal?

January 4, 2011

The snow’s coming down pretty good and an exempt employee calls to say she can’t make it in today because her car is stuck. Can you deduct a full day’s pay from her salary for that missed day? What if she’s non-exempt? What if you close work because of bad weather? Here’s guidance—and a handy flowchart—to help you make the call.

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How to Respond to an EEOC Complaint: 10 Steps to Success

January 4, 2011
The EEOC and state and local agencies have been filing more administrative charges in recent years and that trend is likely to continue. Because administrative charges can be precursors to discrimination lawsuits, it’s critical for you to handle them properly. These 10 tips will help you prepare to respond: 1. Tell the whole story Often, […]
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EEOC issues new mandatory poster highlighting GINA

January 4, 2011
It’s time to update your break-room bulletin board. The EEOC has issued a new “EEO is the Law” poster that most employers must display, now including information on employee rights under the recently enacted Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Download it here.
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Investigation must be reasonable–not perfect

January 3, 2011

Have you worried that your investigations into employee wrongdoing aren’t good enough? Stop fretting. As long as your investigations are fair and reasonable, they don’t have to be perfect. The workplace isn’t a court of law, and employers don’t have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an employee broke a rule.

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Understanding Minnesota’s personnel record requirements gives you a leg up during litigation

January 3, 2011
Minnesota’s personnel record rules can cause problems for employers that don’t operate primarily in the state. For example, employers that aren’t used to the rules may not realize that employees can challenge the truthfulness of information in personnel records and then sue for defamation.
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Document all discipline, every complaint

January 3, 2011

Some employees may manufacture complaints when they think they’re in trouble at work. That’s why it’s so important to maintain good records of all work problems, discipline and complaints. Employers that can prove they were raising concerns about performance before the employee complained about discrimination or harassment effectively cut the causal link between the complaint and the alleged retaliation.

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Update job descriptions to include new duties

January 3, 2011

If you don’t have accurate and up-to-date job descriptions, you’re probably courting trouble—especially if an employee develops a disability and wants a reasonable accommodation. That’s because what an employee considers a job’s essential functions may not jibe with your assessment.

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